That’s a good question. If there was a common thread among the U.S. sailors, it was that they never felt in sync with the shifts. The breeze was from a standard direction, but wasn’t the typical southwest sea breeze, according to Brenner. It was shiftier than normal, especially on the Nothe and Portland Harbour courses. Of course, this was the same for everyone, and many of the other favorites did fine in these “abnormal” conditions. Additionally, speed can make you look very smart. The lack of it can make you look consistently out of phase. Where Finn silver medalist Jonas Hoegh-Christensen had little trouble working through the fleet after a bad start, Zach Railey could not. Railey maintained that he made too many bad decisions early in the event and had to gamble too much in the second half. I have no reason to second-guess him, but he didn’t seem to consistently have the same speed as the top five finishers in the Finn fleet. Bear in mind that at the Skandia Sail For Gold, on the Olympic site in June, Railey finished fourth, Hoegh-Christensen, 12th.